A Look at Social Workers
Their impact is all around us.
Each year, South Shore Mental Health welcomes a select group of social work interns ready to expand their knowledge and put their skills to good use, both in and out of the classroom. Working toward a master’s degree, this year’s group of 10 hails from the Boston College School of Social Work, the Boston University School of Social Work, and the Simmons College School of Social Work. Internship affiliations also exist with the Smith College School for Social Work and the Bridgewater State University School of Social Work.
South Shore Mental Health’s Social Work Internship Program is designed to prepare advanced-degree students for careers in clinical social work, which is largely dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and substance abuse. Interns work alongside our experienced social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical nurse specialists, and other regional and renowned experts whose multi-disciplinary approach to treatment offers insight that is ideal for clinicians in training. Educational seminars, client casework, and ongoing feedback and evaluations also afford opportunities for learning and growth that are invaluable to the students as they prepare for work as future clinicians.
As the nation’s mental health crisis swells, so does the need for clinical social workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of mental health and substance abuse social workers is expected to grow 23% between 2012 and 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Overall employment of social workers is expected to grow 19%, with variations by discipline and limits in some areas of specialization due to budget constraints at the federal, state, and local government levels.
Regardless of their specialty, social workers are drawn to the field by an innate desire to help people, and we needn’t look far to see their positive impact within our communities. Child and family social workers, school social workers, geriatric, hospice, and medical social workers—all are advocates for often vulnerable clients in need of compassion and support services that protect and improve their quality of life. So too, are the many military and veterans social workers who are dedicated to assisting military families and individuals as they navigate the stresses and challenges of war, before, during, and after deployment. And for those committed to bringing about change on a more widespread basis, careers in administrative, policy, and research social work provide opportunities for organizational management, legislative reform, teaching, training, and much more.
As we acknowledge March to be National Social Work Month, I’m proud and grateful to be at the helm of such a dedicated team of clinicians. I’m also pleased that South Shore Mental Health continues the long-standing tradition of providing a first-class training site where students can realize their potential and follow in the footsteps of their predecessors who have chosen to make a positive impact in the lives of those struggling with mental illness.
For more information on South Shore Mental Health’s Social Work Internship Program, go to http://www.ssmh.org/contact/.
South Shore Mental Health